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Women and Immigrants
from Unity Marches To Preventing Business as Usual
Nelson Lichtenstein, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the Center for the
Study of Work, Labor and Democracy. He is a labor historian who has authored or edited 16 books, including his most recent book Achieving Workers Rights in the Global Economy (2016), hes also written about 20th-century American political
There are important questions facing all those seeking the best way to protest President Trump, the GOP-led Congress, and the immigration, health care, environmental policies, womens and Black Lives Matters on issues the new administration seeks to impose upon a reluctant populace:as to what is the meaning of a strike, demonstration, or
protest march? The brilliance of strikes and stoppages like the Day Without Immigrants and the Womens Strike lies in organizers willingness to halt business as usual.
Labor Historian Nelson Lichtenstein talks about a strike " not calling in sick, not taking paid time off, but an actual work stoppage " which will not only demonstrate a sense of inclusive solidarity. It will also have the potential to put enterprises and institutions that
employ a cosmopolitan, multicultural and multinational workforce " Hollywood studios, Silicon Valley, higher education, hospitals and clinics, ports and warehouses, municipal government, and even the world of fast food and retail trade " in at least symbolic opposition
to the Trump regime. It will demonstrate the meaning of solidarity to millions entirely unfamiliar with unions or any other form of collective action and make clear that employees themselves can have a loud and independent voice. Such a movement will demonstrate once
again that work and politics are indistinguishable and inseparable.
Bread and Roses: The Lawrence Textile Strike - 1912
The Lawrence Textile Strike was a strike of immigrant workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912 led by the Industrial Workers of the World. Prompted by one mill owner's decision to lower wages when a new law shortening the workweek went into effect in January, the
strike spread rapidly through the town, growing to more than twenty thousand workers at nearly every mill within a week. The strike, which lasted more than two months and which defied the assumptions
of conservative trade unions within the American Federation of Labor that immigrant, largely female and ethnically divided workers could not be organized, was successful.
produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
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